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Nov 19, 2019
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Berlin-Based Syrian-Kurdish Academic Jian Omar: The Arabs’ Enmity towards Israel Has Been a Waste of Time and Resources; Pan-Arab, Islamist, Religious Parties Mislead the People; Arabs Need Sensible Government That Will Improve Their Lives

#7642 | 03:36
Source: Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar)

In a November 19, 2019 show on Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar), Syrian-Kurdish academic Jian Omar discussed Arab attitudes towards Israel and the West with TV host Faisal Al-Qassem. Al-Qassem said that Israel and the U.S. removed Austrian politician Jörg Haider from power and assassinated him because of statements that they had considered to be antisemitic, and he argued that this shows Israel would never allow the Arab countries to be ruled democratically. Omar rebutted by questioning the Arabs’ enmity towards Israel and by saying that the Arabs’ 80-year long mobilization against Israel has been a waste of time and resources that hasn’t benefited the Palestinian people. He said that Israeli Arabs enjoy more rights than all other Arabs put together and criticized the view that Israel is omnipotent. Omar went on to criticize pan-Arab, Islamist, and religious political parties for selling “shiny” slogans to Arabs and sending people on a Jihad against America, Israel, Zionism, the West, imperialism and capitalism despite the fact that the West leads the world in science and technology. Omar argued that the Arabs need to find a political elite and a sensible government that would improve their livelihood. Jian Omar is based in Berlin.

Following are excerpts:

 

Faisal Al-Qassem: Look at what Israel and the U.S. did to Jörg Haider, who won democratic elections in Austria, just because he had once said a word that they considered to be antisemitic. What did they do with him? They got rid of him. For the first time in Europe’s history, a democratically-elected leader was brought down, and after a while they said that he died in a Mercedes accident. That it crushed him…

Jian Omar: This is a conspiracy theory…

Faisal Al-Qassem: No, no, let me ask you. in Austria…

Jian Omar: Yes, I know who he was.

Faisal Al-Qassem: Did they bring him down or not? If they can do that to Jörg Haider in Austria, do you really want to tell me that they are going to let Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, or the generals’ Algeria be ruled by a democratically-elected leader? Let’s not make fools of ourselves.

Jian Omar: Let’s break down the claim that is always repeated by the Arab media and the elites that Israel does not want any democracies around it. Let’s break it down…

Panel member: This is an equation of war, not of peace.

Jian Omar: I understand the logic behind this equation: Israel is afraid of democracies [in the Middle East], because if the people can decide for themselves, they will remove Israel from the region. Isn’t this what Israel is supposedly afraid of? But why is there so much enmity towards Israel? Why are the resources of the [Arab] peoples wasted on the issue of Israel? The Palestinian cause has not benefited from this… Let me finish. The Palestinian people have not benefited from this or from the 70- or 80-year-long mobilization. How have the Palestinian people benefited? The Palestinians are now divided. The Arabs who live in Israel enjoy more rights than…

Faisal Al-Qassem: A thousand times more than the Syrians… That is well known…

Jian Omar: More than all the Arab peoples put together. The Arabs of ’48 – or Israeli Arabs, as they are called –have rights as Israeli citizens, and they have Israeli passports.

 

[…]

 

It is wrong to present Israel as an omnipotent god. It is an oversimplification. Israel does not interfere in Arab matters in the way that you imagine. The Arab regimes, the pan-Arabs parties, and the parties that sell pompous ideas and deceiving slogans to the Arab peoples… Religious parties and political Islam mobilized the Arab peoples using religious slogans, sending them on Jihad against the West and against imperialism under these failing slogans. The Arab peoples must realize that these pan-Arab parties  and the religious parties – both Sunni and Shiite – are fooling them by using shiny and pompous slogans about confronting and toppling the West and imperialism. The West, and capitalism… I am almost done… Today, the West and capitalism lead the world in the fields of science and technology. The Arab regimes and peoples will not be able to confront the world this way. [The Arab regimes] are wasting the resources of their peoples. Arab citizens must find a political elite that will provide them with a livelihood and a sensible government, instead of mobilizing against Israel, Zionism, the West, and the United States.

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